Friday's Early Headlines
- Economy Shrank 1% in Q2 - The advance read on gross domestic price showed the economy shrank by only 1% in the second quarter, better than the 1.5% decline economists had widely expected. The first-quarter GDP was revised lower to a decline of 6.4% from the previous slide of 5.5%.
- "Cash For Clunkers" Burns Through $1 Billion in a Week. - The government's $1 billion "cash for clunkers" program, designed to spur new car sales by offering credits for used, less fuel-efficient vehicles off the road, ran through the money six days after it began, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) said, according to a Bloomberg report. A White House official, who asked not to be identified because no announcement had been made, said the Obama administration was assessing the situation facing what had turned out to be an overwhelmingly popular program, the report said.
- Bank Pay "Unmoored" From Performance: Cuomo. - Reuters reported that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said bonuses paid to executives at nine banks that received U.S. government bailout money in 2008 were greater than net income at some of the banks. In a report on months of investigation into compensation paid by the banks, Cuomo said bank employee pay "has become unmoored from the banks' financial performance," according to the report.
- Bank Of America Plans Wholly-Owned China Unit. - Bank of America (BAC) is planning to set up a wholly owned banking unit in China, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the situation. BofA will use this China-incorporated unit to focus on corporate lending and investment banking activities, one person said, according to the report.
Friday's Earnings Roundup
- Chevron (CVX) reported second-quarter earnings of 87 cents a share, below the consensus target of 95 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue tumbled by 51% to $39.65 billion, coming in ahead of the $33.41 billion analysts had forecasted.
- Dominion (D) reported second-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share, better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 64 cents a share. The company did offer weak guidance for the third quarter, but it reaffirmed its full year 2009 guidance of $3.20 to $3.30 a share, which is in line with estimates. The company also raised its 2010 guidance, saying it expects earnings in a range of $3.33 to $3.50 a share, up from the previous range of $3.20 to $3.40 a share and better than the $3.29 a share analysts are expecting.
- Constellation Energy (CEG) posted second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.08 a share, coming in 32 cents better than the analyst consensus. Revenue slid about 19% from a year ago to $3.86 billion, ahead of the $3.57 billion analysts had expected. Constellation offered better-than-expected guidance for the full year, and reaffirmed in-line guidance for full year 2010.
- American Electric (AEP) said it had second-quarter adjusted earnings of 68 cents a share, better than the 61-cent-a-share target analysts had. Revenue slipped 8.6% to $3.2 billion, below the $3.6 billion consensus. The company also offered in-line guidance for the full year.